Can You Create Your Own Private Number Plate?


Personalised number plates are a great way to make your vehicle more unique and add value to your car but how exactly do you purchase a personalised number plate and is it possible to create your own? Keep reading to find out.

How Do Personalised Registrations Work?

There are four methods of purchasing a personalised number plate. You can either buy one directly from the DVLA via their website or at an auction or you can buy one from a private seller or private registration dealer.

At Plate Trader, we always recommend starting with the DVLA Personalised Registrations website, as this is the official website of the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency and they currently have over 31 million registrations available that have never previously been purchased or registered to any vehicle.

However, if you can’t quite find your perfect registration plate, chances are that it could already have been purchased. If this is the case, we would recommend searching across as many number plate websites as possible, including dealers, eBay, and our website.

If the person who owns the plate now was looking to sell it, the chances are they would have it listed on one of these websites. If it is for sale on our site, you can be confident that you won’t find it cheaper anywhere else.

Can I Create My Own Personalised Number Plate?

Yes. You can have almost anything on your personalised number plate so long as it follows a few basic rules. Firstly, if you’re creating a number plate, it must be unique. If someone else has already taken the exact combination of numbers and letters then you will either have to try and find them selling it and buy it from them or come up with an alternative number. 

Secondly, if you have chosen for the style of plate containing prefix letters, it’s important to note that there is no option to use the letter ‘O’ as one of these characters as it too closely resembles numerical zero and could lead to confusion.

Additionally, you can’t use the letters Q, U or Z  in the prefix or the letter ‘I’ anywhere on the plate as this resembles the number one (unless you are purchasing an Irish number plate)

In 2020, 186 number plates were banned by the DVLA for containing rude or offensive words/phrases so it’s wise to avoid going for anything that pushes the boundaries and play it safe

It is also against the law to misrepresent the age of your car by making it appear younger. For example, you are not authorised to put a 08 age identifier on a car registered in 2005. However, you could put 08 on a car from 2020, so make sure to check your car’s registration date before purchasing a personalised number plate. 

Can I Customise My Plate?

All number plates must conform to basic formatting standards set by the DVLA including:

  • Charles Wright font
  • Correct sizing
  • Correct spacing
  • Suitable placement of bolts
  • Correct reflective background and colours

However, there is some room for customisation. 

You can choose to add a flag to your number plate, however, this must be one of the following valid flags and must be positioned correctly on the plate itself.

  • EU Flag (though this may change in the future as a result of Brexit)
  • St. George Cross
  • Union Jack
  • Red Dragon of Wales
  • Scottish Saltire (St Andrew Cross)

You are also able to choose between two font styles- the standard flat font and the 3D (two-tone) font. 

Can Any Number Plate Go on Any Vehicle?

Yes. You are able to transfer your registration from one vehicle to another. All you need to do is complete some paperwork with the DVLA for a fee of £80. If you wish to sell your existing vehicle before buying a new one but want to keep your personalised plate then you can “park” your registration until you are ready to use it again by applying for a retention document which will also cost you £80.

One thing to remember is the point we made earlier about not making a car appear newer than it actually is.

Buying a Personalised Number Plate with Plate Trader

If you’re hoping to buy a personalised number plate, Plate Trader has the solution for you. We think that buying a personalised number plate should be made as easy as possible and that buyers & sellers should be able to speak with each other directly, without dealers, auction sites, or other middlemen taking a percentage of the sale price.

Why not take a look at our wide range of personalised number plates available to buy!

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